find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Chris Reynolds: Weather permitting

Chris Reynolds: Weather permitting

Climate change is possibly this year's most publicised and debated topic (though the US election is giving it a run for its money), and Chris Reynolds, a corporate lawyer at AGL Energy, is…

Climate change is possibly this year's most publicised and debated topic (though the US election is giving it a run for its money), and Chris Reynolds, a corporate lawyer at AGL Energy, is certainly in on the action.

Earlier this year Reynolds played a key role in drafting the contract between AGL and Westpac for the first ever trade in Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) permits. Under the contract, AGL has agreed to sell Westpac 10,000 tonnes of permits at $19 a tonne, settling on 1 February 2012.

It was a contract that threw up some drafting challenges, given that the legislation for the scheme - let alone the scheme itself - hadn't yet come into existence, and Reynolds said that a number of different scenarios had to be built into it to deal with the uncertainties surrounding the scheme's structure.

"It was pretty challenging," he admitted. "It went through a number of iterations as we considered the best way to deal with [uncertainties]. And it has some clear conditions precedent, so that if the emissions trading scheme as we anticipate it to be doesn't actually end up coming into existence, then the contract doesn't come into play."

Though the market for CPRS permits is still very much in its infancy, Reynolds foresees that it will become a more significant part of his work.

"As we get closer to having legislation drafted and finalised - and a better hold on what the CPRS will look like - more entities will want to trade in these units," he said. "For instance, [they'll be keen to trade] where they think they can secure supply ... or at least make a good commercial risk decision on supply if they can get a good price at this early stage, rather than waiting to see what happens.

"And if our larger energy customers who have a primary obligation under the CPRS enter into trades, it may help to spread their cash flow so it won't have such a significant financial impact on their business when we get to 2010."

Reynolds's role at AGL also involves reviewing its product marketing campaigns and "green" products have become an important part of AGL's retail portfolio. With "green" marketing claims well and truly under the ACCC spotlight, it's a part of his job that requires particular care and attention.

"You need to be very careful about how you market these [green] products to customers because a lot of customers are really unsure about what they're getting and ... the benefits they're getting. So it's an area where we have to be particularly diligent in what we say to the public and [ensure] that we get the message correct," he said.

Though it's becoming an increasingly significant aspect of his work, climate change law is only a relatively recent addition to Reynolds' resume. A native of New Zealand, Reynolds began his career at Phillips Fox's Wellington office doing general corporate and commercial work. After about 4 years, the travel bug hit and he headed off overseas for a year, the highlight being Canada where he met his wife. He then settled in London for a year, getting a job at US firm Sidley Austin Brown & Wood - again focusing on general corporate and commercial work - before permanently moving to Melbourne with his Australian wife.

In Melbourne he initially worked at Clayton Utz then did a brief stint in-house at Racing Victoria, before moving across to AGL where he's been for the last five years.

Though he spent the earlier years of his career in a private practice firm, Reynolds said that he was always drawn to the idea of working in-house. "I think it's the proximity to the business, and feeling like you're really part of that decision making and project creating process - being involved from go to whoa in projects, rather than being called on just to give more discrete elements of advice," he said. "I wanted to get closer to the coalface, if you like."

When Reynolds isn't working, his 21-month-old toddler Charlie keeps him pretty busy. "I try to spend as much time with him as I can," he said. "It is a bit of a balancing act, but I think most professionals who have outside interests or children struggle with the same thing."

>> For the latest news, views and analysis of issues affecting in-house lawyers, check out Lawyers Weekly's dedicated in-house site www.lawyersinhouse.com.au

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Chris Reynolds: Weather permitting
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Oct 19 2017
‘Ego status’ compelled ex-lawyer to defraud $2.97m, court told
Debarred lawyer John Gordon Bradfield told an NSW District Court that he was driven by “ego status...
Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA), Queensland’s new industrial manslaughter legislation,
Oct 19 2017
ALA welcomes ‘tough’ Qld manslaughter laws
The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has welcomed Queensland’s new industrial manslaughter legisl...
Legal podcasts, tune in, microphone
Oct 19 2017
Legal podcasts you have to tune in to right now
The rise of the internet has hailed in a new dawn for storytelling. Here’s our top pick of podcast...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...